The Ashen Yard Author Jeff Spaur

Book Review

5 out of 5 stars!

"Fine big shot, what did you do?"

"Being born." - Brock

Brock never asked for this life or to be born within the walls of the Ashen Yard. But he quickly learns that if he wants to live, he will have to quickly adapt and survive. Doing so is difficult when you are surrounded by criminals and a city run by "Lords". Glorified mob bosses who control the lives of people for their own amusements. . .

Needing medicine for his mother only complicates things but Brock will do anything for his mom and her health! She's everything to him and nothing will stop him from getting what he needs for her. When the threat of a gang war comes about Brock will have to make choices. He's been fine tuned into a weapon for his Lord, but should Brock just accept orders and roll over? Something's not sitting right, and Brock soon wants answers. . . There's more going on within the Ashen Yard than meets the eye. 

"There is no room for the weak in the Ashen Yard." - Brock

I was pleasantly surprised with this book and ready for the next installment! The Ashen Yard has some backstory behind why it was created but ultimately, it's a place for criminals. Only what about those who are born within the city? Never getting a choice on who their families are or which side of the wall their parents live in. . . 

Brock's life was sealed the moment he took his first breath of air. He grew up quickly and understood that if he wanted to make it to adulthood, he would have to do some things he wasn't proud of. I really enjoyed the baseline psychology of what is "morally acceptable" when your life is on the line? When it's literally kill-or-be-killed, and many will not hear your words or negotiate. Adapting and following the preestablished rules/codes being the only course of action.

This book is in single POV, and I loved the progression of the story! There are so many intricacies going on in the shadows and Brock is catching on to them. Already having knowledge that not everything is as it seems. I was left guessing with multiple things but also excited when some of my theories were correct! 

I got vibes of the Netflix series "Arcane" as I was reading through the book. Especially when we were introduced to the other side of the wall or people from the higher-class side. There are depictions of prejudices toward people who live within the Ashen Yard. Not only are there physical barriers separating the classes but also mental ones. People automatically assuming everyone from the Yard are lowlife criminals and worse.

I really loved this read and how the story had so many twists and turns. The cliffhanger has me wanting to read the next book to see if more of my theories are correct! I also want to see how everything will end and what comes next! 

Brock's life is not a pleasant one and he has had to deal with some heavy subjects for a long time. There are mentions of dark pasts, acts one has to do to survive, violence and bloodshed. Manipulation and someone who enjoys watching others suffer whether mentally or physically. A woman having to "service" men to make ends meat, nothing is detailed out but it's implied. Language is present in the book along with threats and shows of being property to someone.

We do get some romance with this read and its instant love on the guy's end. Guy falling first! The most that happens is kissing because I think the author may be sticking to the YA genre. I appreciated that the FMC is strong and very intelligent, not backing down to a guy being a jerk to her. I also enjoyed that the romance wasn't the main focus of the book. I love romance but I really appreciate books that are plot driven and have a ton of intrigue!

What would you do to survive? Enjoy the read with a born "criminal" and things not always being clear cut even in an environment surrounded by villains. Don't forget to give the author some stars! The Ashen Yard eBook : Spaur, Jeff, Girardelli, Chiara, Keil, Michaela: Kindle Store

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